College Counseling Department: Ms. Ramirez

Ms. Ramirez Assistant Director of College Counseling large_user4010311_2347024 Q: Where were you before you came to Latin? A: I worked as a Director of Admission at Northwestern, and before that I was a student at Northwestern. So I’ve spent the last almost-ten years up in the Evanston/Rogers Park area, living and working there. Q: Did you go to a high school like Latin? A: No. I went to a private school, but it was a Catholic school in Ohio: Bishop Watterson High School. And it wasn’t at all like Latin. I wanted to get into College Counseling, actually, because I had such a poor experience. I didn’t have the greatest college counselor. I think it was just a product of not really being as knowledgeable about the college process, so I had to figure things out on my own a lot of the time. Luckily it worked out for me, because I loved where I ended up. But I would’ve liked some help. My parents hadn’t been to college in the United States, so they didn’t know what was going on either. Q: What was your first impression? A: My first impression—well I was nervous, because I was interviewing. And I was really nervous because I was told that I would be interviewing with lots of members of faculty and staff, but then I was also going to be put in a room with five students. And that was the scary part; I was terrified. And I ended up walking out and that being my favorite conversation that I had had the whole day. I was like “man, these students”—regardless of what was going on in the school, regardless of the faculty and staff, they just find a way to be awesome. And that’s what clinched the whole thing for me, where I didn’t have to even think twice when I got the job offer. Q: Favorite part about Latin? Most intimidating thing? A: Most intimidating thing is this block schedule. And probably all the staircases, and how they don’t lead to the right places that I’m trying to go to. Also interacting with students who are high school age, in general. When I was at Northwestern, I was the director of the tour guide program, so I worked with college-age students, and that can be a big shift, although it doesn’t always have to be. My favorite part—I like the fact that Ms. Pleshette and Ms. Taylor and Ms. Vela were completely open. They said “if you have any questions, ask us: we’re not going to judge you or think any less of you” which was so amazing because I am kind of starting fresh in this area. I really like that we will all generally cluster around Ms. Vela’s office to eat lunch, so we can just chat and not have to worry about rec letters or college lists and just talk about what TV show we’re watching or what book we’re reading. Which I think is so nice, and it’s so important to break things up in the workday. Q: What were you like in high school? A: I was very different than I am now, I think, in my outlook on life and my awareness of the world. I learned a lot in the college setting because there’s so much freedom of information and you meet new people, people who are like you and people who aren’t like you. I went to high school in a very homogenous town, with a very homogenous group of people. And I thought I was one of the pack, so I didn’t do much to break out: I played my sports and I did my homework, day in and day out, tried to be a good daughter and a good sister and all that. But when I got to college, I realized that I can be different, and I celebrated my ethnicity and my position as a woman and all of these things that I thought were supposed to be squashed down in this homogenous community. Q: What did you do this summer? A: I worked at Northwestern through June and then I started this job on July 1st. And it’s been a lot of getting used to the school and the workday. I moved from Rogers Park to Oldtown, so that was a big summer experience. But other than that, it’s just been trying to get used to everything and learn people’s names—a lot of transition, which is good. Good and bad. Q: Anything else you want to share? A: If you ever see me in the hallway with my big headphones in, you can always interrupt me. That’s totally fine! I’m a podcast fanatic, so I’m always listening to podcasts or audiobooks. I’m really into that. ]]>